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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1268063
 
 

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Why (and When) Clinicians Compel Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa Patients


Terry Carney


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

David Tait


University of Canberra

Stephen Touyz


University of Sydney

Alice Richardson


University of Canberra

September 14, 2008

European Eating Disorders Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 199-206, 2008
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/103

Abstract:     
OBJECTIVE: This paper addresses the question of the circumstances which lead clinicians to use legal coercion in the management of patients with severe anorexia nervosa, and explores similarities and differences between such formal coercion and other forms of 'strong persuasion' in patient management. METHOD: Logistic regression and other statistical analysis was undertaken on 75 first admissions for anorexia nervosa from a sample of 117 successive admissions to an eating disorder facility in New South Wales, Australia, where an eating disorder was the primary diagnosis. Admissions with other primary diagnoses, such as bulimia nervosa (25 episodes), and entries with a co morbid diagnosis (e.g. depression or opiate overdose), were discarded, leaving 96 admissions by 75 individuals. RESULTS: Resort to measures of legal coercion into treatment was found to be associated with three main indicators: the patient's past history (number of previous admissions); the complexity of their condition (the number of other psychiatric co morbidities); and their current health risk (measured either by Body Mass Index or the risk of re-feeding syndrome). CONCLUSIONS: Our study is consistent with the few earlier studies about indicators for legal coercion in anorexia nervosa management, and suggests that clinicians use legal coercion very sparingly, distinguishing legal coercion from other forms of close clinical management of patients.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: anorexia nervosa, legal and extra legal coercion, clinical indications, empirical evidence

JEL Classification: C80, I10, I18, K10, K30

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Date posted: September 15, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Carney, Terry and Tait, David and Touyz, Stephen and Richardson, Alice, Why (and When) Clinicians Compel Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa Patients (September 14, 2008). European Eating Disorders Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 199-206, 2008; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/103. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1268063

Contact Information

Terry Carney (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
David Tait
University of Canberra ( email )
Law Faculty
Canberra, ACT 2601
Australia
Stephen Touyz
University of Sydney ( email )
University of Sydney
Sydney NSW 2006
Australia
Alice Richardson
University of Canberra ( email )
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia
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